Hasan Jamali, Associated Press
Bahraini anti-government protesters perform evening prayers on a traffic junction on a highway where hundreds gathered for a sit-in Friday Dec. 30, 2011, near Abu Saiba, Bahrain. Thousands of Bahrainis are marching near the capital city of Manama to demand the immediate resignation of the government. The mostly Shiite Muslim protesters carried the red and white Bahraini flag as they marched in a northern district of the tiny island kingdom for nearly four miles, six kilometers.

MANAMA, Bahrain — Riot police and protesters are clashing in several Bahraini cities in one of the most widespread days of protest in the Gulf kingdom for months.

Black-clad riot police fired tear gas and rubber bullets on Saturday to disperse crowds of stone-throwing protesters demanding the government resign.

The demonstrations are led by Shiite Muslim activists who accuse the Sunni-dominated government of failing to take reform steps outlined in a report that revealed abuses against protesters.

Crowds are also calling for the trial of police officers believed to be behind the killings of more than 35 protesters since anti-government protests began 10 months ago.